‘We are only human’ says careless-driving councillor

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A TORY councillor has hit back at calls for him to resign after he admitted careless driving.

Coun Bradley Birmingham was charged after overtaking a queue of traffic – described in court as around a third of a mile long – to go through a red light in his father’s Range Rover.

He was fined £1,500 and had nine points added to his licence at Hull Crown Court, with Judge Kate Buckingham warning him he “should not be so cavalier in future”.

The councillor already has three points on his licence for using a handheld mobile while driving in September 2010 and he was warned the “slightest infringement” could see him facing a six-month driving ban.

The court was told he needed his licence to attend community meetings and continue his job working for the family-run care home business.

The former chairman of Beverley and Holderness Labour Party, George McManus, said: “It’s a disgrace that with 12 points on his licence this councillor has not been given an automatic ban. For the judge to describe his conduct as ‘cavalier’ is doubly regrettable. Councillors of all parties should set a good example. If he was Labour I’d expect him to resign. His conduct put people’s lives at risk.”

However Coun Birmingham, who represents Beverley Rural on East Riding Council, said he was “definitely not” stepping down. The incident happened in Skidby last May when the councillor went through a red light after overtaking vehicles waiting at temporary traffic lights. Coun Birmingham cited others who have recently fallen foul of the law including police commissioner Matthew Grove, who was given three penalty points last October after being caught speeding in Grimsby, adding: “We’re only human.”

He said: “This has been blown out of proportion. It’s their story against mine. They are saying a third of a mile; I’m saying a couple of cars. Even the judge said I didn’t put anybody in danger. I made an error of judgment. I hold my hands up and I am incredibly sorry about it.”

The councillor, who questioned the use of police resources in sending up the police helicopter to photograph the route, added: “I see people on a day in day out basis (doing similar things) I am a good lad; I am 29 years of age – it was a one-off misdemeanour.”